PIERS MOR­GAN: ON DON­ALD TRUMP

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FRONT PAGE - Piers MOR­GAN

TUES­DAY, JAN­UARY 10

Where were you when Don­ald Trump won the US pres­i­dency? I was on a freez­ing cold, pitch-black ho­tel rooftop in mid-town Man­hat­tan at 2.30am, co-host­ing Good Morn­ing Bri­tain with Su­sanna Reid.

Madonna, so des­per­ate for Hil­lary Clin­ton to win that she even of­fered free oral sex to any­one who voted for her, has re­vealed she was at her New York home just a mile away from us – but in a much darker place.

‘I was pray­ing with my agent,’ she told Harper’s Bazaar. ‘She was read­ing from the Ko­ran, I was read­ing from the Zo­har [chief text of Kab­balah]. We were light­ing can­dles, med­i­tat­ing, pray­ing, of­fer­ing our lives to God for­ever…’ There have been many the­o­ries about why Trump won, but that last mo­men­tous pledge from Madonna may have been the cru­cial tip­ping point. As Trump’s vi­cepres­i­dent Mike Pence said on the night: ‘I am deeply grate­ful to God.’

FRI­DAY, JAN­UARY 13

Fa­mous peo­ple are of­ten the worst kind of dinner-party com­pan­ions. They ei­ther talk solely about them­selves, bitch in­ces­santly about their ri­vals (while say­ing in public how much they ‘hugely ad­mire their work’) or are just so stupid you lose the will to live. (I still re­coil at the mem­ory of one ex­cru­ci­at­ing evening spent try­ing to con­verse with a very well-known, sadly very brain-dead model.)

Tonight, by con­trast, I found my­self next to He­ston Blu­men­thal for a mu­tual friend’s birth­day dinner at Café Mon­ico in Lon­don’s Shaftes­bury Av­enue. He­ston is not only one of the world’s great­est chefs – his ac­claimed Fat Duck restau­rant in Berk­shire has three Miche­lin stars – he’s also an ex­traor­di­nar­ily bright whirl­wind of cre­ative en­ergy who likes to se­ri­ously mess with your brain.

As the starters ar­rived, He­ston asked a wait­ress for a notepad and pen and fren­ziedly drew me page af­ter page of Ein­stein-es­que di­a­grams to ex­plain the in­cred­i­bly com­plex way hu­man senses work. Over the main course, he per­formed an ex­per­i­ment that in­volved him star­ing with vary­ing in­ten­sity into my eyes as I drank wine or ate food, to test my re­ac­tions. It all gen­uinely tasted dif­fer­ent each time, a bizarre but thrilling ex­pe­ri­ence.

Fi­nally, as I scoffed dessert, he asked me to name favourite child­hood mem­o­ries – I cited shrimp­ing on Hast­ings beach – and he cor­rectly guessed ex­tra de­tails about them and made me ‘taste’ my thought pro­cesses.

‘I want peo­ple to feel hap­pi­ness from food through nos­tal­gic trig­gers,’ he ex­plained. It all sounds in­sane but some­how it works. ‘You’re a mad, bonkers ge­nius,’ I told him, as He­ston beamed de­light­edly. Michael McIn­tyre came over to of­fer much-needed, light, cere­bral relief. ‘You are NOT to put any of this con­ver­sa­tion into your diary, Mor­gan!’ he com­manded, chortling loudly. ‘You haven’t said any­thing yet!’ I said. McIn­tyre crouched down be­side my chair and we had a great chat. Un­like most co­me­di­ans, he’s a very funny, up­beat guy off stage, too.

Af­ter 20 min­utes, he sprang up with a loud shriek and launched into a lengthy ver­bal and phys­i­cal im­promptu sketch about how awk­ward and painful it is to talk to some­one from that crouch­ing po­si­tion. It was laugh-out-loud hi­lar­i­ous. In di­rect con­trast to He­ston, McIn­tyre’s ge­nius is the sim­plic­ity of his work. He finds or­di­nary things al­most un­bear­ably amus­ing.

As I left, I found our for­mer chan­cel­lor, Ge­orge Os­borne, get­ting his coat. ‘Ge­orge! How great to see you!’ I ex­claimed. ‘I want to thank you so much.’

‘Oh,’ he replied, in­stantly sus­pi­cious, ‘why?’

‘Well thanks to your dis­as­trous fail­ure of a Re­main cam­paign, the dol­lar has rock­eted against the pound, mean­ing my US as­sets are now worth 30% more than eight months ago.’

‘I knew there had to be one sil­ver lin­ing,’ Os­borne groaned.

‘You ex­cited or hor­ri­fied about Pres­i­dent Trump?’ I asked.

‘I’m rather in­trigued, ac­tu­ally,’ he replied. ‘He’s blow­ing up ev­ery con­ven­tional no­tion about how to be a politi­cian.’ ‘Is that a good or bad thing?’ ‘We’re about to find out…!’

SUN­DAY, JAN­UARY 15

Watched La La Land, the stu­pen­dously hyped ro­man­tic mu­si­cal about a mu­si­cian (Ryan Gosling) and ac­tress (Emma Stone) who fall in love in Los An­ge­les, to see what all the fuss is about.

The film is drip­ping with cheesy schmaltz, and the ‘dream’ scenes are ir­ri­tat­ingly ab­surd, but the mu­sic’s great and Ms Stone is fab­u­lous.

It’s a good, not great movie but it will clean up at the Os­cars be­cause it’s ba­si­cally two hours of Hol­ly­wood mak­ing mad, pas­sion­ate love to it­self.

MON­DAY, JAN­UARY 16

Blue Mon­day. What could pos­si­bly make things worse than the most mis­er­able day of the year? Well, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey pub­lished to­day, the an­swer is wak­ing up to me in bed. A dis­may­ing 98% of the Bri­tish public ap­par­ently named me the ‘least ap­peal­ing bed­mate’ to cheer them up on this hellish morn­ing, nar­rowly beat­ing Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch into se­cond place.

‘Who on earth are the 2%?’ pon­dered Su­sanna Reid this morn­ing.

No idea. But if any­one knows, can you get me their phone num­bers?

TUES­DAY, JAN­UARY 17

A hand-writ­ten note from Don­ald Trump ar­rived to­day, re­spond­ing to a Dai­ly­Mail.com col­umn I wrote urg­ing him not to stop tweet­ing. ‘Trump’s tweets helped him win the pres­i­dency,’ ran the head­line, ‘and if you don’t like them, tough Twitty!’

‘Piers, so true!’ he wrote, across a print-out of the col­umn. ‘Thanks, Don­ald. PS You al­ways knew it was go­ing to hap­pen…’ Yes, I did. As I said on the day he an­nounced he was run­ning, never un­der­es­ti­mate The Don­ald.

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